Thursday, January 11, 2007

My morning

I left the LUC asleep in our bed and rode out into the blizzard. It was hard.

She's really ill, wheezing and coughing all night, and cold despite three layers of comforters, touque and scarf. I piled all my clean hankies on the bannister, she's going to need them. She called me a "good man" for going to work despite her plea to stay home and muttered something about "...taking care of your obligations." as I tucked her in and rustled away in my cold weather gear. Yah, it was hard to leave. Was it the right thing to do? How do I decide which obligation is greater?

The blizzard promised by Enviroment Canada wasn't so bad. The wind had died down from the 60km/h gusts of the night before but it was still snowing hard. The snow was 5cm or so on the ground, more where it had drifted but the riding wasn't too hard. There had only been one bike and a couple of peds before me on the bike path and fresh, un-tramped snow only makes it a little harder to pedal.

The streets were worse. The uneven packing left by the cars is a bit tricky. It can push you around as you move from one density to another. My glasses were fogged over pretty bad, I hit the surface streets after sweating my way out of the valley. I could see big shapes fine but the subtle differences in snow conditions? No way.

The trick is to trust your skills. Hold the bars gently, ride it out as the bike slips and turns and above all: relax. Being tense leads to overcorrecting which leads to bruising.

Not being able to see perfectly actually helps. Instead of anticipating how hard that next streach is going to be and thus getting tense, you simply ride through it and react only to what actually occurs.

Using the right bike helps too. My fixed gear has very narrow nobby tires. They cut through the snow to the hard surface underneath much better than fat mountain bike tires.

As I move into this new phase of my life, marrriage and some other big changes, I'd do well to remember all this. You learn the skills you need and practise them as best you can. You put on approriate clothes and make sure your tools are in good working order. Then you relax and ride through it and if you make a mistake? Well, bruises heal.


Coelecanth said...

Apologies for the spelling mistakes. I couldn't get the Blogger spell-check to work and frankly, I can't spell my way out of wet newsprint.

Anonymous said...

Once again, my dear friend, you have me in tears!

Thanks for this!

MJ xx